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A Simple Guide to Being a Feminist, Even If You Are a Man

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Pharrell Williams, the proud wearer of the world’s stupidest hat, was recently interviewed by British news broadcaster Channel 4, and aside from trying to defend his previous summer jam “Blurred Lines” as not rapey, he had a few choice words on feminism as well. “I’ve been asked, am I a feminist? I don’t think it’s possible for me to be that. I’m a man. It makes sense up until a certain point. But what I do is, I do support feminists. I do think there’s injustices. There are inequalities that need to be addressed.”

Hate to break it to you Pharrell, but girl, you’re a feminist. If what you say is true, in regards to supporting feminists and wanting to address gender inequality, then you’re definitely the F word, but it’s going to be okay! I can assure you that this is not a bad thing. How else can you lean in to your newfound feminism? Learning what #LeanIn means is a good start, but here are some other pointers.

1. Do you think women and men should be treated equally in all arenas, including but not limited to the workplace, education, pay scale, etc.?

Congratulations! You’re a feminist. You may think that feminists are large mobs of angry pitchforks-made-out-of-tampons wielding women, hell bent on reminding everyone how awful men are, but that’s not the case! The beauty of feminism is that you can support all those things, and still support men too. In fact, you can support all those things and still be a man. Funny how that works, right?

2. Resist the urge to start any phrase, ever, with “But not all men…”

We know. When I start a sentence with “Oh my god, moms are the worst” do you think I actually believe that every mother in the existence of the universe also makes her 26-year old daughter who lives 3000 miles away text her parents to let them know she reached home safely? No, and yet my untethered friends are still able to empathize, because even though all moms don’t do this, there is a shared understanding of mom behavior. In much the same way, when women (especially of late, and especially via the heartbreaking and profound #YesAllWomen campaign on Twitter) talk about their experiences and they’re not super pro-male, it doesn’t mean they think every male ever would mimic what happened to them.

3. Feminism is not guys versus girls.

You should probably stop taking advice from Taylor Swift, first of all. Feminism is not the systemic erosion of male power so that we can enter into a Gaia-driven society in which we, your female overlords, hold you captive for procreation and spaghetti sauce jar opening. That is something else, which I would wholly support, but it’s not feminism.

Image via Flickr